MOVING imperceptibly from east to west, the morning sun on April 19, 1995, crossed the 200 block of NW 5. A shadow darted out of harm’s way. Clocks advanced from 9:01 to 9:02, Central Daylight Time. A moment in time. A moment of eternity. Lives were brutally stolen in that moment. The lives of hundreds of others were forever changed. A young city aged quickly and visibly, showing lines from worry and despair but also the resilience that the pioneers tapped to survive harsh weather and gutting poverty. No crop failure or natural disaster, so frequent in these parts, made April 19 a date that will live in infamy. Instead, it was a calculated act of terror arising from one man’s desire for revenge. He spent that moment in time getting away, unwilling to endure or even witness the horror he had wrought. When Oklahoma City joined Beirut and Tel Aviv and London as a locus of terrorism, outsiders were quick to note our "mature” response to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing — as if a city so relatively small, so relatively insignificant on the world stage, should not be expected to cope or recover. Insiders were too busy to think about it. Minute by minute, we trucked out the rubble and carried out the dead, identified them and released them to their families. We shared their pain but could not possibly share their loss. We began to rebuild and we argued over how best to compensate survivors and whether Timothy McVeigh should be executed or left to wallow in his vitriol until a natural death spoke his name. On this April 19, nearly 8 million minutes will have passed since that moment McVeigh’s fuse reached the explosives. The sun moving across the 200 block of NW 5 no longer illumines a government office building. It floods a field of green planted with sculpted chairs in place of 168 lives and all the memories they made and all the potential that died with them. Any anniversary is hard for those losing a loved one to whatever cause. Birthday. Wedding. Day of death. Rounded anniversaries — 10 years, 15 years, 50 — aren’t necessarily more significant to the survivors than an "ordinary” mark of time. They seem to matter more to the media and society than to the survivors. They matter most to those who exploit anniversaries for a political agenda or to rekindle the long-doused fires of conspiracy theories. Fifteen years after, this is a better city than it was on April 19, 1995. It is larger, more diverse, more prosperous, more generous in its offering of things to do and things to see. But how much better would it be had McVeigh and his co-conspirator not robbed us of the talents of those 168 people? What would they have contributed? We can’t know. This is a heartbreaking, ongoing aftershock of that seismic moment in time. We built a memorial and we comforted the survivors of later and deadlier acts of terrorism. We will mark the 15th anniversary with more than a moment of silence because each victim deserves individual and thoughtful remembrance. We are all 15 years older now, each of us moving, minute by minute, imperceptibly, toward the sunset of our own lives. Moments in time, both the marvelous and the horrible, will one day not matter. Until then, it is apt that we remember how a moment in time became the moment of eternity for 168 of our fellow citizens. And what we did in response. The above is adapted from an editorial originally published on April 17, 2005.